Prestonpans Infant School is very proud to work in partnership with DadsWork. Over the last few years we have developed a positive, respectful and cohesive relationship with this excellent charity.
Fathers and male carers in our school have significantly benefited from the proactive and sustained support they receive from Dadswork. This support has had a positive impact on outcomes for their children in terms of wellbeing, school attendance and learning because the dads and male carers have received practical, emotional and pastoral support from Dadswork. Several of these dads and male carers have been supported into volunteering, which has built both their self-esteem and employability skills. Others have gone into tertiary education and are working towards achieving a degree. Engagement of fathers in their children’s learning improves significantly when Dadswork are supporting a family. Dadswork also offer family work, including the women partners in the family, which greatly benefits the whole family as a unit.
As a community partner, our school provides dedicated space for Dadswork to maximise the opportunity for dads and male carers to engage with their services. Dadswork offer individual support and give access to counselling. The dedicated, and highly skilled staff, also offer group work which gives dads a safe place to share the difficulties they face as parents. They also run a Dads and Toddler group in our school every week, with many of the children later joining us for nursery and school. Some of these children may have faced challenges when starting nursery or school but their familiarity in our setting, the safety they experience here and the development of an early family connection, helps to overcomes those challenges and break down barriers.
I am delighted to share that we have now organised 3 extremely successful ‘Go Mad with Dad’ events in our school. This is a truly unique community engagement initiative, led by Dadswork and their committee, and is offered to dads/male carers in Cockenzie, Port Seton, Longniddry and Prestonpans. Each event has seen in excess of 400 male carers and their children playing, learning and enjoying time together during these completely free events. Dads who have access visits to their children are appreciative of this quality, safe place to bring their children to. All dads and male carers have voiced their appreciation at these events about having time to be with their children on days they are not working. The ‘Go Mad with Dad’ brand has now extended to Wallyford and Tranent, where they are enjoying similar success. The Go Mad with Dad events have also generated support for the DadsWork Management Committee as dads, who have been impressed by the quality of their experience, are offering their professional skills to enhance the service. I personally feel honored to have be asked to join the committee this year and I look forward to being part of the DadsWork continuing journey.